The True Cost of Halloween

Hannah McDonough, Editor

Ah… The best time of year has come around, with cool weather, candy, and walking door to door. Yes, it’s Autumn and with every Autumn comes Halloween. This spooky night has won the hearts of many including me, but I recently asked myself a question that us Halloween fans don’t usually think about: What is the true cost of Halloween?

Although the holiday people spend the most money on is Christmas and other winter holidays, Halloween is on the list of top five most expensive holidays. It can cost a lot for the individual family. From costumes to decorations to candy, the cost can get pretty high. Individually, one item doesn’t seem like a lot, but add it all up and that’s quite a bit of money. So let’s dig deeper into the different costs.


Picture your average family with about 2-4 kids. Each kid gets a costume at Party City. Well, kids costumes from Party City generally range from $20 to $40. That’s quite a bit for even the average household. Then add in the adults (if they even dress up). And then the pets. What I’m getting at is that costumes can cost a lot of money. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to dress up, but there’s got to be a less expensive way to get a costume for one night of a year.


One thing I’ve always wanted to do is to make my own costume. Although you have to buy supplies, it’s usually cheaper than buying a premade costume. For instance, if you wanted to be an angel, you could get a white dress and bend a wire into the shape of a halo and put some white fluff on it. Also, you would have to somehow create the wings. If you enjoy crafts, it’s the perfect chance to save money and do something you love! Instead of buying a whole costume, you could buy the individual pieces. Usually (not always) it costs less that way.


Almost everyone has Halloween decorations. Look around your house and I bet you’ll see at least a few decorations. The great thing about Halloween decorations is that once you buy them, you usually keep them for the years to come. People do buy extra decorations each year. And of course… Pumpkins. Now pumpkins don’t cost much. They cost about $5-$20. Honestly, I don’t think as much money is spent on decorations as costumes. Now if you’re throwing a party… that’s a different story.  At any party, you have many preparations including decorations. So add in the typical Halloween decorations and a party can get more expensive than your average Halloween decorations.


Again, I suggest homemade decorations. I have done it and it’s really fun. You can make tombstones, ghosts, skeletons, almost any spooky ideas can be made at home… Sometimes with no cost at all! But homemade isn’t my only suggestion. You can pick out a less expensive pumpkin, but make sure it’s in good condition from a place you trust. You can also buy individual pieces versus that big $100 set. As always, make sure what you get is good quality.


Starburst, Hershey’s, Snickers, Sour Patch, I’m sure you’ve had it all in your Halloween basket. Whether you hand candy out or you leave a bowl of it on your porch, we’ve all given candy out on Halloween. Although candy isn’t a huge issue, it’s still one of the costs of Halloween so I thought I would include it. Out of all the popular candies, the least expensive range from three to five dollars and the most expensive is about $18, and yet it can be more. Of course, these are the assortment bags of candy. But still, $18? I have found more candy for less than that. It’s not worth it. It’s just candy, just food.


There isn’t necessarily a solution. Of course, the problem isn’t very big either. We don’t have to buy the most expensive candy, especially when you can get almost the same thing for less.

The Overall Cost- 

I’ve been talking about the cost for individual families and people. But what about when you add it all up? According to History News Network, in 2017, we spent more money on Halloween than on some charity causes that year! These are pretty big charities like U.S. Food for Peace program and U.S. McGovern-Dole program, so if more money went to Halloween? Wow. There must be a lot of Halloween fans out there. Halloween is an amazing holiday, but maybe if we could just cut down the cost, it would be the absolute best.


To conclude, not only can Halloween cost a lot for the individual family, but it costs a lot overall, too. I’m not saying to stop loving Halloween, I’m saying there has to be a solution to the cost.